Urbanophilia Selected videos for cities

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Charley in New Town (1948)

‘New Town’ is an entry in a Central Office of Information-sponsored animated series featuring the everyman character Charley, and promotes an escape from grimy, smoggy towns and arduous commutes to work. With the highly distinctive animation style of husband-and-wife team Halas and Batchelor, this short aims to explain the rationale behind the planning of the new towns, with their enticing offer of green open spaces and a type of housing to suit everyone.

Building skywards – Manhattan-style – is quickly ruled out for us Brits; “Don’t be silly, I’d never get me pram up there” pipes up a member of the unseen chorus of unhappy city-dwellers. But considering the urban sprawl now devouring the south-east of England, perhaps skyscrapers were the way to go after all. (Simon McCallum)

All titles on the BFI Films channel are preserved in the vast collections of the BFI National Archive. To find out more about the Archive visit http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections

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